I booked a cruise for 5 of my family members to the western Caribbean. Because my brother has health concerns I ask in the event he couldn't go could I substitute another family member. I was told yes, and I'd just pay a $35 "switch fee" to take his name off the passenger list and enter someone else's. Well 10 days before departure date my brother was hospitalized and was unable to travel. When I called to switch his name on the passenger list for my step-daughter's I was told that switch fee policy suddenly changed, according to NCL when the ship books to capacity, they will no longer honor this policy. I said that makes no sense what so ever, what has a booked ship got to do with whether or not I can switch a name on the passenger list. I paid the fares, my brother is too ill to go, NCL would lose no money making the switch. Sophia, the NCL rep. I talked to could not give me a reason for this restriction but told me if other people cancel and the ship would be no longer booked then the restriction would be lifted. She told me to call back everyday to see.
I felt like Alice in Wonderland where absolutely nothing makes sense.
Can the Better Business Bureau help or am I wasting my time?
I believe the change in policy came after 9/11 -- not just for NCL but for all cruise lines. It is my understanding that the cruise lines must submit a pax manifest to the authorities 14 days prior to departure for security reasons.
I'm having my own issues with Norwegian Cruise line, in that they confused my reservation with another and thus charged me 780 dollars too much, of which they did not intend to inform me until I found a discrepancy with my balance and checked my bank statement online. They were trying to reimburse me without my knowledge, and when I confronted them the assured me they would return the money to me in 4-6 weeks. Oh, right, how convenient. I earn interest on this money, and this problem should not be dealt with by the refunds department, because I did not cancel the cruise, they simply owe me money. I feel as though this could be a legal issue, the withholding of my money and the robbery of my interest. Before I get too angry, I was wondering if anyone knows the address of the president of the line, and/or a number or address of a complaints department. Sure, it isn't really a huge deal that it will take so long to get my money back, but it should not have happened, and I feel that they should do something along the lines of upgrading me or something, you know? So thank you for your time, and I really appreciate if you can help me out.
When a sailing is within 2 weeks of sailing many times the cruise lines NOT just NCL do not honor a name change even if you are able to pay 35.00 name change fee. BUT, depending on availability, and who you talk to, if the sailing is that close in they sometimes will change the name on the manifest and you do what they call a "pier exchange" which means you take your incorrect documents and exchange them with the new ones at the pier.